The US is happy to spend over $15 million EVERY DAY bombing and droning its enemies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc, but can’t spare the change, offering a ridiculous $13 million so far to help desperate Hurricane Matthew victims in Haiti, where it has a clear historic and moral responsibility. As of 6 October 2016 only $1.3 million has been specifically reported for the Hurricane Matthew response in Haiti.
by michaellee2009 ‘I pay my taxes, I contribute like everyone else… I don’t understand what is happening. It makes me angry because it makes me question our humanity.’
JEREMIE, Haiti – Rickety structures made of sheet metal and scrap wood are clustered along the road to the Haitian city of Jeremie, which still hasn’t seen any aid nearly 3 weeks after Hurricane Matthew.
In a scene that is eerily similar to the devastation in Port-au-Prince after the 2010 earthquake, when hundreds of thousands of survivors had to cram into every available space, families are living in makeshift camps.
In one such camp on the side of the road, Dominique Pierre-Louis is trying to start a motorcycle covered in mud.
“I just want a job, I don’t need any charity. I’m a professional, I can help myself.”
Before the hurricane swept over Haiti, leaving hundreds dead, Pierre-Louis and his family lived outside Jeremie. But after days of not receiving any aid, he moved his wife and 8 children to this muddy roadside camp.
In the past two weeks, convoys carrying humanitarian relief have driven by, but none has stopped.
The family is now living in a small space made of sheet metal and tarps. Pierre-Louis’s wife Dieula, who has asthma and has been ill, rests on wooden planks covered by a sheet while their children scramble naked in the mud.
‘Too many losses’
“I was in the hospital for 8 days, I was better but the fever came back yesterday,” she said, her face covered in sweat. “I should go back but I can’t afford it.”
Aside from a cholera treatment center set up on the grounds of Jeremie’s partially damaged public hospital, there is no free medical care in this city, which bore the brunt of Matthew’s might.
His sick wife shares their makeshift bed with their 6 other children.
But Dieula doesn’t complain too much about her situation.
“The solidarity that usually binds Haitians has been ruptured – there are too many homes destroyed, too many losses. The state can’t do anything, it’s too much,” she said.
A few meters away, Filton Janvier is more angry, and refuses to accept that the international community has abandoned him.
“We’re just on the side of the road. Authorities go by, the mayor just passed by, and even the president was here. But no one came to ask us how we were doing,” the 39-year-old said, seething with rage.
“I pay my taxes, I contribute like everyone else… I don’t understand what is happening. It makes me angry because it makes me question our humanity,” he added, as he watched another group of vehicles from a non-governmental aid organization drive by.
After the main roads were again open to traffic, aid started trickling into Jeremie, but the lack of coordination between the foreign agencies has stalled its distribution to those in need.
On the city’s main street, residents spot a bit of a crowd: food and construction materials are being handed out by city hall, people say – and it’s going south.
“The cop at the entrance ordered me to back up – I did it but people were pushing me from behind. The cop hit me with his baton and I fell down,” said Rene Jean-Fritz, pointing to his bloodied knees.
“These cops did not come to help people, they just came to beat us up,” he charged, and onlookers voiced their agreement.
For Pierre-Louis, people are not looking for handouts but just need the bare minimum so they no longer have to sleep in the rain.
Jean-Fritz, still angry, did not get anything at the aid giveaway. He got the plastic card granting him access to the distribution point the night before from a friend who had several dozen of them.
No local officials or aid group verified that those who queued up for aid were truly in need.
1 Million in Haiti Urgently Need Humanitarian Assistance After Hurricane’s “Apocalyptic Destruction”
In Haiti, the death toll from Hurricane Matthew has topped 1,000. Haitian interim President Jocelerme Privert is warning the country faces a possible famine from what he described as the “apocalyptic destruction” of Hurricane Matthew. The country is also battling a growing cholera outbreak. United Nations officials say nearly 1 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, with up to 80 percent of Haiti’s food crops destroyed in some areas. Aid agencies estimate at least 60,000 people are staying in temporary shelters.